Links 4/5/2024

Colors will look different during the April 8 solar eclipse. Here’s why

How to photograph total solar eclipse: Tips for amateur photographers FOX

How Medieval Chroniclers Interpreted Solar Eclipses & Other Celestial Events Madras Courier

Global supply of equities shrinks at fastest pace in decades and Private equity stakes unloaded at a discount as investors seek exits FT


No, AI Won’t Outsmart Our Climate Calamity The Tyee

New Seafloor Map Only 25% Done, with 6 Years to Go Eos

Undersea cables are the unseen backbone of the global internet The Conversation


Cherish that hamburger. It cost a quarter of the Colorado River, according to researchers. Colorado Sun. Original.


Biden and Xi discuss Taiwan, AI and fentanyl in a push to return to regular leader talks AP

Commentary: Navigating China’s influence and expanding role in Southeast Asia Channel News Asia

Chinese cities spark outcry with ban on joss paper sales and ‘feudal superstitions’ for Ching Ming Festival South China Morning Post


Myanmar militias revel after attempted drone attacks on junta’s stronghold capital Reuters

UN calls on governments to stop exports of jet fuel to Myanmar Channel News Asia

It’s official: Tokyo’s cherry blossoms are at full peak Asahi Shimbun

Commentary: What you need to know about the deadly strep infections spreading across Japan Channel News Asia


Inventing Hindu supremacy Aeon


Instability, extremism threaten coastal West African oil belt S&P Global

The lessons and legacy of Rwanda’s genocide FT


Biden spoke sternly to Bibi:

Israel to open more aid routes to Gaza and increase deliveries after pressure from Biden NBC. Ah well, nevertheless:

Israeli army chief sacks 2 senior army commanders over killing of aid workers in Gaza Anadolu Agency

Austin Calls for ‘Rapid Increase’ of Aid Into Gaza Through All Crossings (press release) U.S. Department of Defense. “2,000,000 humanitarian aid meals per day” via the pier.

* * *

IDF carries out airstrikes on Hezbollah sites in south Lebanon Times of Israel

Will Hezbollah and the UAE overcome past problems? The New Arab

* * *

US May Revoke Houthi Terrorist Label If They Stop Red Sea Ship Attacks Bloomberg. So we lost another war? Granted, a small one. But nevertheless.

* * *

Meetings About Massacre

McDonald’s to buy back Israeli restaurants after boycotts BBC

‘Ecocide in Gaza’: does scale of environmental destruction amount to a war crime? Guardian

European Disunion

Sea and Earth New Left Review. Decolonization — from conservatives.

The coming civil war on Europe’s Right UnHerd

Dear Old Blighty

Police investigate cyber honeytrap scandal after senior Tory admits giving MPs’ numbers to sex sting plotter he met on Grindr dating app after sending intimate pics of himself Daily Mail. Making The Thick Of It look tame….

That famous British sense of humor:

Dry, very dry.

New Not-So-Cold War

The true toll of the war in Ukraine is measured in bodies. This man brings them home, one at a time AP

Ukrainian women demand demobilisation of ‘exhausted’ loved ones The Times. The deck: “Thousands of wives, girlfriends and mothers of serving soldiers have taken to the streets to call for fresh recruits to replace soldiers who signed up at the start of the war.”

* * *

NATO intelligence casts doubt on likelihood of imminent large-scale Russian offensive Ukrainska Pravda

Russia detains three more people over concert shooting Reuters

Is Zelensky’s Legitimacy Really At Risk? Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Ukraine’s Zelensky hails diaspora, proposes dual citizenship Arab News

* * *

Blinken says Ukraine will eventually ‘become a member of NATO’ FOX

Western officials warn munition shortages could be catastrophic for Ukraine as US stalls on providing more aid CNN

NATO Weighs Taking Over U.S.-Led Group Directing Ukraine Military Aid NYT

Russia halved railway gasoline exports in March after fuel embargo Hellenic Shipping News

The Caribbean

Cuba says it has secured food rations after street protests over shortages France24

Stabilizing Haiti: A Guide for Policymakers Texas National Security Review

Global Elections

2024 Election to Watch: South Korea Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Biden Administration

Secretary Antony J. Blinken With Darius Rochebin of LCI/TF1 U.S. Department of State

Baltimore’s Key Bridge Collapse

US Army Corps of Engineers plans to reopen Port of Baltimore by end of April after Key Bridge collapse FOX. The full channel by the end of May.

Baltimore rerouting not impacting broader ocean operations or rates so far: Freightos Analysis Container News

Digital Watch

Google Books Is Indexing AI-Generated Garbage 404 Media. Autocoprophagy.

An unending array of jailbreaking attacks could be the death of LLMs Marcus on AI

Turns out AI chatbots are way more persuasive than humans The Register

This tool makes AI models hallucinate cats to fight copyright infringement NBC

* * *

Big Mistake(s) (forthcoming) Florida Law Review. From the Abstract: “[T]this Article contends that the contract defense of mistake can be revitalized and adapted to the unique circumstances of user-platform interactions. Specifically, it explores the circumstances under which platform users should be permitted to void their contracts, sidestep provisions that limit access to justice, and seek restitution and other remedies for their data, time, and attention.”


How We Got Concussions So Wrong Slate

Zeitgeist Watch

Sick Cultures: When Belief Systems Turn Pathological Consortium News

Cthulhu Gazes Right Dark Futura

Existential Researchers Teach Rat To Run Forever Through Exitless Maze The Onion

Class Warfare

Middle Class Americans Are Acting More Like Lower Income Earners Morning Consult

Antimarket London Review of Books

Central bank independence as class war strategy Counterfire

Bradford pear trees are banned in a few states. More are looking to replace, eradicate them. USA Today

Making Old Orchards New Again Modern Farmer

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from As Time Goes By  by Herman Hupfield, as performed by Dooley Wilson in the film Casablanca)

    While Israel exists
    Then genocide persists
    Their neighbors have to die
    You must create a hue and cry
    To grab more pie

    The Jewish point of view
    Is to look down on you
    The Torah tells us why —
    Their Yahweh says they’ll rule as kings
    When this world dies

    You thrive as America’s fifty-first state
    You’ve purchased our Congress — it’s your real estate
    They pander for millions you kindly donate
    They vote as you decide

    You run a crematory
    Your history is gory
    You steal and terrify
    You’ve killed a million kids and mothers
    You occupy

    (musical interlude)

    Twilight approaches for your settler state
    Boycotts and sanctions will become your fate
    No way to prevent it — it’s way past too late
    This world will not stand by

    You’ve been wholly predatory
    While stealing territory
    No human laws apply
    You march out to your Bronze Age drummers
    Your State of Lies

    1. chris

      Thanks for this. The news about Israel is past the point of making me feel numb to the death and destruction my country is sponsoring. I just want it to stop.

      I want to be able to talk about what is going on at a policy level too, but I can’t, because “We” have all agreed that you cannot criticize the State of Israel and the actions of Israel’s military without being anti-semitic. Which is odd coming from a people who live in a country where the ability to criticize the government, as different from the actions of its citizens, is enshrined in the constitution. But I guess them peoples in the Holy Land ‘r just tew dum to cotton what weez in da US iz picking. Which is why any criticism of Israel has to be denounced with endless shrieking from all official channels.

      When I have been given openings to engage people in conversation about this topic, I do try to listen, and to understand if they have any personal stakes involved. I do work with people who have family in the ME. I do work with people who have family in Israel and in Palestine. So I try to be as kind and diplomatic as possible if the topic comes up. Because none of my co-workers are responsible for this tragedy. But, when given the chance, I do ask the people who believe Israel cannot be criticized two questions:

      1-If all of the laws and standards governing these conflicts agreed with Israel, and stated that everything the IDF was doing was allowed by law, would that make it right?

      2-If all the laws and standards governing these conflicts disagreed with Israel, and stated that everything the IDF was doing was illegal, would that make Israel stop?

      The people who read this website regularly no doubt have opinions about the answers to both of those questions. But I have found that simply offering those two interrogatories to people kickstarts the process of waking up their humanity.

      I’ll accept someone who is capable of acknowledging that the US and Israel are engaging in the systematic destruction of a people and their culture for reasons that aren’t tied to anything we would acknowledge as existential (i.e., the Palestinians are not threatening Israel’s access to food, water, political freedom, economic activities, industry, and lives). Those folks are probably awful people but at least they’re capable of thought. But I refuse to accept a person who shrugs at what is going on. Someone who refuses to even engage with what the US is doing because it doesn’t affect them. Every citizen in the US should be asked to evaluate what our country is doing allegedly in our names. Refusal to do that is the first of many crimes we commit against the world.

  2. Wukchumni

    Gooooooood Moooooorning Fiatnam!

    With most everybody being in the path of totality for the total eclipse of the economy, instructions were to not gaze directly into the sum, lest you go blind from the shocking amount of debt the west owed to creditors who just happened to be in the same countries as the debtors, as luck would have it.

      1. Wukchumni

        If it weren’t for his Ayatollah of Diet Coca Cola tendencies, I could see a Trump IPA, and it would be the palest!

            1. Wukchumni

              Billy Beer was the Bitcoin of its era, I remember galoots, er excuse me investors that is, trying to get $1500 for a 6-pack when a 6-pack of Bud was $1.50.

    1. ilsm

      Earthquaking in New Jersey.

      What is the over under on a new 60 million barrel dump of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve

      The cost of freedom to genocide!

  3. The Rev Kev

    “This tool makes AI models hallucinate cats to fight copyright infringement”

    Artificial intelligence has been sucking up the world’s artwork for free without anyone’s consent, without credit, without compensation – nothing. It is the ideal Silicon Valley model where you take a common for free and monetize it. But if this “Nightshade” tool is being used to poison those databases so that an AI will turn out more and more rubbish results, how long until those AI corporations try to sue the makers of the “Nightshade” program and their users for damaging their profits?

    1. Mark Gisleson

      AI is training people to be able to detect and reject AI. Long tail numbers work both ways: you don’t just grow your numbers over the years with evergreen content; if you’ve published a real stinker, it will drive readers away from your site so long as it’s online.

      No expertise in critical reading theory necessary to know that you just read the same factoid in each of three successive paragraphs. I am very much reminded of Democrats embracing their lazy interpretation of Lakoff so they didn’t have to do the hard work of coming up with new messages. No, all they had to do was rewrite the previous cycle’s Republican messages because voters don’t notice that sort of thing. Except they did.

      AI content grows your audience like the neoliberals grew the Democrat party.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Ah, the libertarian view of self-regulation by reputation damage.

        “The cancer cells will die when the afflicted’s body stops sending oxygen and nourishment.”

        Are “we,” the body politic, helpless against these pathologies? Wait, wait, I know this one!

    2. Polar Socialist

      Nobody should be surprised that the research into how to confuse AI (adversarial machine learning) has been going on about as long as research into AI. Due to the nature of the training methods it is not as simple as it may appear – the ‘malevolent’ input has to be carefully crafted not to explode or implode the model, and yet make it behave erratically later. Not to mention that GAN (generative adversarial network) type models create false inputs by themselves as part of the training cycle.

      1. Skip Intro

        You bring up a critically important and often overlooked point. Training AIs to identify something means that the model has learned to distinguish that thing from other similar things, which is necessary for creating an adversarial model that generates convincing fakes. The lesson is that if an AI system can recognize something, it can generally also fake that thing, making AI-discovered evidence self-negating in a way, and evidence of a capacity for fakes.

        And, if a GAN can hallucinate an image with style of some artist, even if it doesn’t reproduce any specific work, it means that GAN was trained on that artist’s work, whether permission was granted or not.

    3. Craig H.

      Existential Researchers Teach Rat To Run Forever Through Exitless Maze

      1. this is an Onion article which looks serious
      2. just going by the headline I though the subject was AI Existential Risk research
      3. it is actually a possibly bulls eye capsule description of the latter


      1. Jeremy Grimm

        I cannot find a reference but I recall reading [1970s] about a rat repeatedly placed in a Skinner Box where the rat was punished with electric shock to compel it to run the maze and shocked when it successfully completed the maze. After a number of training sessions the rat started running in tight circles when placed in the Skinner Box and continued that behavior to exhaustion when returned to its cage.

  4. upstater

    Plastics watch: A Breakthrough in Plastic Recycling Is Coming Up Short

    Big brands like Procter & Gamble and Nestlé say a new generation of plants will help them meet environmental goals, but the technology is struggling to deliver.

    The money quote… it emits as much CO2 as virgin materials, so remind me why they’re doing this [wait, wait, greenwashing! Now I feel good! ]

    PureCycle says every kilogram of polypropylene it recycles emits about 1.54 kilograms of planet-warming carbon dioxide. That’s on par with a commonly used industry measure of emissions for virgin polypropylene. PureCycle said that it was improving on that measure.

    1. Jeff W

      The article headline has been changed to the somewhat more industry-friendly “There’s an Explosion of Plastic Waste. Big Companies Say ‘We’ve Got This.’” (Do they?)

  5. Daniil Adamov

    “Inventing Hindu Supremacy” was interesting. Savarkar’s contempt for his people’s perceived softness reminds me of modern Russian nationalists like the late Konstantin Krylov. They share a peculiar anxiety about how we’re not as beautifully ruthless and efficient as the Enemy, internal and external.

    1. Feral Finster

      The problem is that Russia isn’t, while her enemies are that ruthless. While they are not necessarily efficient, they have enough force and imagination to make up for it.

      1. Daniil Adamov

        Yes, that was more or less Krylov’s line, although he often took it to the point of caricature (as did Savarkar in the article, with his support of rape as sound demographic policy). Just because a course of action is cruel, doesn’t mean it’s useful, but for some reason the two are often confused. Certainly not by Russian and Indian nationalists alone, of course.

    2. digi_owl

      You find that same line of thinking within every race oriented grouping. Funny thing is that often those most fervently pushing the idea rarely lead from the front.

    1. Yves Smith

      Lambert provided a lot of studies yesterday so perhaps he thought enough was enough.

      By contrast, when I do Links I make a point of featuring some Covid stories every time, since there always are some.

      1. BeliTsari

        And, believe me, I’m guessing you’re aware how MUCH your astute, candid & discerning vigilance is appreciated? I’d cited this, since Australia’s healthcare numbers seem consistently more reliable than CDC’s, yet show pretty much what we’d witnessed as Omicron swept through; with schools & workplaces open, PASC-damaged essentials repeatedly reinfected & CDC ignoring delayed deaths, while cutting free testing & mask mandates?

        Thank you, again! Naked Capitalism is one of the last stalwart repositories of accurate information on the Internet

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Israeli army chief sacks 2 senior army commanders over killing of aid workers in Gaza”

    I came across a theory today about those murders and to tell you the truth, there is a twisted logic to it. This person said that the Israelis were going to kill those two generals at the Iranian Consulate in Syria but there was a problem. This was a massive move against international norms and there was no way that the Israelis could talk their ways out of this one as every country has Embassies and Consulates overseas. So a calculation was made that what was needed was a distraction – a big one. One that they would be heavily criticized for but which would push the Consulate attack onto the back pages. Enter that convoy of aid workers. That story has been front and center the past coupla days while people have forgotten the Consulate attack. And to sweeten the deal? Biden rings Bibi to wag his finger. The Israelis open up a few more aid corridors – for now – which gives Biden a big win in an election year. Of course he still is shipping bombs to Israel on an almost daily basis. Bibi wins as he gets away with the Consulate attack with temporary concessions to food aid to show how reasonable the Israelis are. So, win-win. Unless you were in that food aid convoy that is.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Note the Zionist goal of killing off all Palestinians, starvation inarguably being one method on the path to beachfront “settler” condos.

      Killing these aid workers caused all the other organizations struggling interstitially to feed Gazans to halt their aid deliveries, such tidbits as were getting through.

      And the famine has the salutary effect of visible episodes of starving Gazans savaging one another over scraps of “food” and water. So feeding the Zionist fable that Gazans and all Palestinians are subhuman animals.

      Did the Jews penned up in the Warsaw Ghetto fight each other over food? Or manifest other morally suboptimal behaviors?

      I suspect not many Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto were ardent Zionists.

      1. Feral Finster

        “I suspect not many Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto were ardent Zionists.”

        There were Zionist organizations in the General Gouvernement (the Nazi term for occupied Poland) mainly among younger people. Still, Zionism was not all that popular.

        And I second a look at the life of Marek Edelman.

        1. gk

          Mordecai Anielewicz, the first leader of the revolt, was a member of Beitar and then Hashomir Hatzair, so he was a Zionist. He may have died in a joint suicide, modelled on the (fictitious?) Masada story, which also sounds very Zionist. Edelman survived and then went on to join the Warsaw uprising.

      2. Belle

        I’m sadly not familiar with the Warsaw Ghetto, but I have heard some of Josephus’s accounts of the siege of Jerusalem. They may be worse …

    2. Bugs

      And like anyone “sacked” by Israel for violating Palestinian “rights”, ignoring international law, or committing war crimes, you can be very sure that they’ll be quietly promoted and given a bonus.

    3. Alice X

      Yes sir, it is narrative control:

      1 – Murder 7 aid workers to distract attention from:

      The carnage at al-Shifa hospital and the destruction of Gazan medical facilities in general.

      The targeted assassinations of journalists.

      The +975 revelations of a kill ratio of 100 real civilians to 1 theoretical Hamas operative, bombed in his home, with everyone around him.

      Bombing the Iranian Consulate.

      The greater carnage of a genocide.

      2 – The western world mis-leadership class is outraged by the deaths of six western aid workers (and one Palestinian) because they are, well, western, while tens of thousands of Palestinians (who are something less) are killed, with only a few crocodile tears shed by the ministers of the mighty on their behalf.

      3 – Western aid organizations pull back and UNRWA, which was already being hobbled, is further restricted.

      Voila! The starvation continues unabated.

      Norman Finkelstein: Starve or Leave

      [On the WCK murders]…Israel’s news bureau in the US, the New York Times, is already spinning the story to exonerate Israel: “botched operation … mistakes and misjudgments … accidental killing.” (“Back-to-Back Israeli Strikes Show Tragic Gaps in Choosing Targets,” April 4, 2024) It’s also being said that it’s not senior Israeli officials but on the contrary IDF field commanders and soldiers who are out of control, or that Israel’s resort to AI is behind the hecatomb in Gaza. That’s all bullshit. During its periodic “mowing-the-lawn” hi-tech murder sprees in Gaza (Operation Cast Lead, Operation Protective Edge), Israel has always used DISCRIMINATELY INDISCRIMINATE firepower to terrorize Gaza’s civilian population into submission. The nub of the problem is neither disciplinary nor technical. It’s Israel’s murder plan: to make Gaza unlivable and to force its people to decide—starve or leave.

        1. JBird4049

          I continue to be amazed at Mr. Kirby’s ability to lie with such sincerity. Lies of omission and commission, as well as distortions, evasions, and distractions are all used. What a weasel.

    4. Emma

      Bingo. With this crime, which is actually far less serious than what they already committed against UNRWA and Red Crescent workers without remark, they managed to memoryhole both the Al Shifa massacre and the Iranian Embassy strike. It also buys Israelis some time to stall on the promised Rafah and/or southern Lebanon invasions, which the IDF did not have capacity carrying out.

      In addition, it looked like WCK looked like it might finally be delivering larger bulk shipments of food and there is a freedom flotilla planning to sail in late April with 5000 tons of supplies, without coordinating with IDF. Now all the shipments are turning back and Gazans continue to starve, especially in the North.

      I wish a future for the Israeli officials, “activists” and IDF rank and file, what they’ve visited upon the people of Gaza for the past 180 days. Ditto the denizens of the US executive and legislative branches.

      1. mrsyk

        A deafening silence from my algos in regards to Al Shifa, and UNRWA. Endless coverage of the ridiculously transparent hypocrisy coming from the White House concerning the slaughter of the aid workers. The “thoughtful, concerned Biden” photo says it all. Anyone buying this bs, well I have a bridge for sale (needs a bit of work).

      2. ChrisFromGA

        I wish I could share your optimism on the Rafah invasion, but with Ramadan ending Monday, I think, I can see Netanyahu pulling the trigger on that op while he still can.

        The media coverage of the massacre of the WCK staff will have been kicked out of everyone’s news feeds by then. And the cowering simps in the State Dept. will do nothing other than “sternly worded letters” asking Bibi to please show some restraint in killing.

        1. Emma

          They’re already intensifying bombing of Rafah and southern Lebanon, but physical invasion is something else. Remember that after 6 months of turning northern Gaza into a moonscape, they are still unable to secure and hold most of it. The second invasion of Al Shifa likely cost dozens of IDF deaths from resistance fighters in buildings surrounding the hospital.

          I didn’t think I’m being optimistic. Israel still had the ability to siege, starve, and bomb the civilians trapped in Gaza. I just don’t think they have shown any ability to actually go in and actually take ground.

      3. Kouros

        Nothing is memory holed: ICJ is looking at the genocide accusation on Israel and IC is also looking at the legal consequences of Israel occupying Palestinian territory.

        1. Emma

          Has any part of the ICJ provisional orders been implemented? It seems the only thing we learned since then is that the US doesn’t even recognize UNSC decisions and that they’re totally chill with Israel targeting another country’s embassy in a third country.

          I’m not saying that the rest of the world is fooled by the WCK killings. But it was certainly helpful for the Anglo-EU political class to pretend that the unprovoked attack on Iran and massacre in Al Shifa is nothing.

          BTW-electronic Intifada just published a longish post about WCK’s dubious ties to Biden and Israel.

    5. flora

      Nap and Macgregor. twtr.

      Col. Douglas Macgregor: Netanyahu must escalate to survive. If he drags the US into this we’ll end up fighting Russia directly. Most of the US political class is bought and paid for by the Israeli lobby. Hatred has taken over Israel. Iranians don’t want a war. This is the end of the EU and NATO. The dollar will be expelled from Eurasia. The future is grim.

    6. Feral Finster

      A much simpler answer. Israel knows that Israel enjoys less and less unconditional support among the American and Western publics. The window in which Israel can demand a war (Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen) and get its wish without question is closing fast.

      Israel attacked the Iranian consulate so that Iran would respond, giving Israel an opportunity to run screaming to its American thug and demanding a war while it still can. If Iran refuses to take the bait, Israel will simply do something more outrageous until it gets what it wants.

      On a similar line, Israel attacked those aid workers because they were aid workers. Israel wants aid organizations to leave Gaza. Understandably, the organizations complied.

    7. Es s Ce Tera

      I’ve been wondering something else – could it be the IOF is captured by right-wing extremist sorts? In other words, do the politicians even have control of the military, is there a widespread ignoring of orders and chains of command leading to the genocide we’re witnessing? Or perhaps there are rogue elements within the IOF? If Netanyahu were to order the IOF to pull back completely and cease all offensive actions, would they? Is the IOF out of control at this point?

    8. JustTheFacts

      According to John Mearsheimer on Napolitano, 68% of Israelis want Gaza starved. So these army commanders had a democratic mandate to get rid of those who are interfering with this goal.

      It is deplorable that the West supports a country where the majority has such views. One wonders what has happened to our morals… and our religious “leaders”.

    1. Wukchumni

      …wasn’t it Aaron Burr who shot down Hunter’s tax indictment motions to dismiss?

      1. griffen

        Famous historical quotes…one is indeed a sarcastic retort

        John Adams…”facts are stubborn things”
        Richard M. Nixon…”it’s not illegal”
        Hunter Biden..”Dad is POTUS now, I don’t pay taxes so whatevs buy my art”

          1. Wukchumni

            I sensed things were looking grim for Hunter when he was only seen photographed in 3 piece suits festooned with an old glory lapel pin-perhaps being the catalyst in stopping the tacky practice originated by Brezhnev in the early 1970’s.

      2. undercurrent

        No, that was Raymond Burr, Aaron Burr’s been dead a long while. By the way, there’s been a rumor circulating, that Joe Biden’s seen Joe Biden enjoying a very pleasant conversation with both Burrs. Joe Biden said the Burrs don’t get under his skin the way Ralph Nader does. And, finally, speaking of skin, curious people want to know whose skin tags Joe Biden has been selling in order to raise money for his fall campaign against the orange-skinned Donald Trump, whose own skin, we’re told, is exceedingly thin. Well, that’s the skinny about that.

    2. The Rev Kev

      You think that in a few years time when 2024 is well behind us, that Lin-Manuel Miranda will come out with a new production? I can see it now. “Biden – the Musical.”

      1. Ben Panga

        Review quotes for the poster:

        “A stirring tale of incompetence and incontinence”

        “Genocide never looked so fabulous!”

        “Putin will hate this show!!”

      2. Belle

        Given the adulation by the establishment for Federalists, be they John Adams or Hamilton, I think that it might be Mnuchin who gets the worshipful musical, and Trump who gets the worshipful book and miniseries in the future.
        To quote REM out of context, “Jefferson, I think we’re lost.”

    3. Verifyfirst

      I was pleased to see a clip of some young people verbally assailing Mrs. Clinton about Gaza as she left said fundraiser:

      In fact, I have been seeing various clips on Twitter, of (mostly) young people crashing events and raising Gaza issues. For example, below (remarkable how Gawande is apparently so far in the bubble it never occurred to him to prepare for this question):

      Yesterday, at a DC event on “the critical importance of supporting and safeguarding health workers,” USAID rep Dr. Atul Gawande struggled to respond when activists asked him to condemn the US-funded Israeli assault on Gaza, which has killed scores of health-workers.

      1. Es s Ce Tera

        I love that our younger generations *know* HRC is neither feminist nor progressive.

        As for Gawande, I’m not sure it’s because Gawande is in a bubble. Note he began to say Israel, was corrected, conceded Gaza, then began to say that the attack on WCK workers was outrageous but before he could continue was cutoff by either his own staff or event organizers, was never able to complete his response.

        The second woman with the followup question didn’t really do her own cause any favours by not letting him finish a response to the first question. There could have been a condemnation forthcoming which would have been much more valuable, would have been widely reported, than any disruption of the event which wouldn’t be reported on in the media anyway. This always frustrates me about these sorts of actions…the intent is to disrupt but they really do need to identify goals before hand and adapt to the circumstances, play out different scenarios. “If it looks like he’s going to condemn Israel, don’t stop him!” They didn’t appear to have considered that USAID might have strongly condemned the attack, it appared Gawande was about to, now we’ll never know.

  7. zagonostra

    Today, I spoke with Prime Minister Netanyahu to emphasize that strikes on aid workers and the humanitarian situation in Gaza are unacceptable.

    If ever there was a more banal, insipid, weak, watered-down, clap trap of a phrase it is when it is paired with “unacceptable.” I don’t know of a term that Bernie Sanders and other bootless politicians use more. Unacceptable? WTF does that mean, it’s existentially meaningless, it has happened.

    Whether you accept it or not is totally beside the F$ing point. What are you going to do to punish the perpetrators and make sure those responsible for the act/event are held to account? What are you going to do to make absolutely sure it never happens again? That’s what I want to know.

    1. ChrisFromGA

      Double-secret probation for Netanyahu?

      Dean Wormer: “Greg, what is the worst regime on the planet?”

      Greg: “that’s hard to say, sir, they’re each outstanding in their own genocidal way …”

      Dean: “Cut the horse bleep, son, I’ve got Bibi’s disciplinary files right here …”

    2. John

      Beat me to it. Stern talking to followed by echoing silence that ought to have been filled with, ” Stop what you are doing now or arms sales and transfers stop from this moment.” But our man Joe didn’t say that did he. Better yet, “Bibi, you want to run an apartheid state? You are on your own.”

      1. tegnost

        better yet, just stop sending the ordnance without notice and wait for bibi to call and say “where’s my stuff?”
        But of course, no…
        I’m with the crowd that says it’s all wagging the dog, the effectiveness of sternly worded letters, an artifact of a long ago time, is gone. It’s been replaced by total information post truth propaganda basically to the extent that if they say it, one must assume it is a lie. Here it is friday, the holy day of sunday news topics, and murdering a hospital and blowing up an embassy are last weeks news.
        Piffle at 11

        1. Polar Socialist

          Better yet, start delivering the ordnance directly to the IDF troops committing the genocide. Armed and in free fall…

          There’s this concept of “responsibility to protect”, and I would so, so much like to see one humanitarian intervention I could honestly approve of.

    3. Feral Finster

      Biden’s admonishments are a moral figleaf. Yesterday, I see that the United States is sending yet another shipment of bombs and another 50 F-15IS fighters to Israel.

      Sanders is a eunuch.

  8. Kevin DeNardo

    Between exorbitant hotel room prices and fligts, we have reached the ensh*****ification of the Eclipse…

    1. Kevin DeNardo

      Link won’t embed for me: Food & Wine has an article “10 Eclipse-Themed Foods Along the Path of Totality”
      I feel like I’m living in a Monty Python skit.

          1. Wukchumni

            Wasn’t me dude, some lunatic from marketing came up with it, has Scotty been seen lately?

        1. Alice X

          ROTFLMAO on that one!

          Thank you sir! You’ve outdone yourself, and that is no small feat!

        2. mrsyk

          Lol, We are to become a nation of blind covid addled zombies on an endless shuffle quest for a bargain.

    2. Emma

      Where are you looking to go? We’re driving to see the eclipse in Watertown, NY (forecast is mostly sunny, everything west is partly cloudy, everything east is narrow roads infested by New Yorkers and Bostonians) and then staying 3 nights in a Montreal Airbnb. Seeing normal prices and plenty of availability in Toronto and Montreal. I guess everybody wants to leave Monday afternoon.

  9. Mangelwurtzel

    Pyrus calleryana is a rock star. They are the dandelion of tree species, resilient and vigorous, nourishing both insects through their massive nectar and pollen flows, as well as avian species with their fruit. Their rapid spread is evidence for their massive utility to non-human species. Furthermore, they have protection against control-freak humans via their thorny architecture and are distasteful to rodents, which accounts for their popularity as an understock in pear orchards. It should also be noted that Callery Pear does not spread in undisturbed native ecosystems, but rather in disturbed ones, like roadsides and abandoned agricultural lands. Good luck stopping these trees, states! And I’m not giving them up in my orchard, either.

    1. mrsyk

      I’ve been increasingly skeptical of the term “invasive” and how it’s being used to promote some kind of misguided good think land management that fails to take into account the failings of man over nature. The recently posted article about hunting barred owls to protect spotted owls is a full on display of trying to find a way to the past, overlooking the small fact that spotted owls require old growth forests to thrive. We cut all those down of course. The bard owls are merely foreclosure shopping.

      1. Daniil Adamov

        It did always strike me as a weirdly “reactionary” stance for often progressive-identifying individuals to advocate trying to restore a long-gone past state through systematic violence (granted, not against humans… or at least, that’s a separate policy). Even if desirable, I don’t think it would work. Some sort of stable, thriving ecological equilibrium is a good goal, but it won’t be the same one that existed before the latest “invasions”.

    2. Emma

      They’re okay rootstock if you want your orchard pear trees to be giant, impossible to prune trees. They’re quite variable in terms of their adaptation to different environmental conditions and diseases.

      I’ll take my chances with BET rootstock for Asian pears and quince rootstock for European pears.

      There is no excuse for Bradford pears and other Callery pear varieties in people’s yards. They have weak branching structure that shouldn’t be near any structure or power lines. The flowers stink and the supposedly non-fruiting varieties still have fruit that then spread everywhere. Why anybody plants them or sweet gum trees intentionally is completely being my comprehension.

  10. timbers

    Blinken says Ukraine will eventually ‘become a member of NATO’ FOX

    The world and all it’s problems is so simple in FOX world and thank goodness we have smart people like Admirals writing books to help us fix them.

    The FOX interviewer does a quick world tour of all war zones we have created to bring freedom to the world, with a big map of the world showing all of USA’s enemy nations that America needs to destroy pronto. There are a lot of them when pictured on a global map at FOX Studio. Almost the whole entire world in Asia Middle East and if you adjust by population it must look even more threatening. The FOX guy has a guest Admiral James Stavridis with his new book he wrote with help from decorated former Marine Elliot Ackerman, called “2054”.

    The good news is, Taiwan unlike Ukraine “has lots of money” but will need “lots of US technology” to defend herself from China aggression, in fact it’s the 20th largest economy in the world so it has lots of money to buy state of the art Russian…err…American weapons and technologies. 20th biggest economy in the world is really good because it you google largest economies by nation Russia often turns up at 14 or 12 and future predictions have Russia at 41 by 2050 and that’s behind much larger future economies like Bangladesh and Philippines. And Germany is still 4th largest economy and will stay close to that even in 2050. And the Admiral’s book is called “2054” so by then Russia will be even smaller way behind Bangladesh and Taiwan will so big it could invade Russia because it has so much money.

    The Admiral says we need to get Taiwan to “open that spigot now” so she starts buying American technologies and weapons so we can win and keep Taiwan free, just like we did in Ukraine but in Ukraine we didn’t do it enough, because Ronald Reagan if he were alive today would have seen the criticality of giving more aid to Ukraine for stock buybacks…err…Ukraine. And if we let China get ahead of us in Quantum Computing or we might not win.

    1. upstater

      Glad you watched for us and saved us the pain and outrage, not to mention spitting our coffee. Monsters like Stavridis and Blinken proudly wear their arrogance and stupidity like the fruit salad of active duty flag officers.

    2. Benny Profane

      I saw a few pictures of Blinken at that press conference the other day, and, man, does he look defeated. Like, I am going down in history for losing a war to Russia and destroying NATO, defeated. Like, I am going down in history for defending genocide, defeated. Will I have a career after this January? Or will I be hauled in front of a court somewhere for my crimes to humanity?

        1. Benny Profane

          I find that hard to believe. Is he that silo’d off from reality he doesn’t know what’s going on? He has access to all sorts of intelligence.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Just because you have access to intelligence does not mean that you are intelligent. :)

          2. Polar Socialist

            According to many ex-intelligence people it seems that nowadays politicians tell the heads of different bureaus what The Narrative is and then receive only intelligence that fits The Narrative.

            So, when Ukrainska Pravda and intelligence assessment disagree, it’s the Ukrainska Pravda version that arrives to Blinken’s desk. It’s called “team playing” and careers can be made out of it.

        2. Nikkikat

          Agree with you 100%. This guy just needs a sign that says, everything you need to know about the Biden administration in one word Blinken. Honestly, Mayor
          Pete would have the sign if Blinken didn’t own it.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I doubt he has a clue. He’s just pissy the job is not fun anymore. It was supposed ptmbe prakse for not being the Orange One and pronouncements such as “America is back.” Blinken went to go to Africa and give orders. He came back and publicly griped African leaders expect something for obeying. He’s a close Biden associate. He’s as ignorant and shallow as his boss if not worse. Besides supporting the Iraq War, he’s the idiot behind Biden’s Iraq partition plan, one of the dumbest things to come out of Biden’s office. It was pro-genocide and would essentially hand Southern Iraq and the oil over to our geocompetitor Iran.

        He’s a thug who hid in DC, nothing more. He’s not dating Jill St. John. This is the limits of Blinken’s capacity.

        Biden’s recent excuse is is wife said something. This is entirely possible given the talent Biden has around him.

        1. Emma

          Are you confusing ethnic cleansing with genocide? Biden’s plan was terrible (basically breakup of Yugoslavia 2.0, but genocide?

          “It was pro-genocide and would essentially hand Southern Iraq and the oil over to our geocompetitor Iran.”

          Oh… Thank you for making your interests clear.

      2. Enter Laughing

        His eyes look haunted…like being an accomplice to violence and deception is eating him alive. Good.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          This is wishful thinking. Blinken has been a primary supporter of every US sin in the 21st century. These aren’t haunted eyes. He’s cheese he isn’t being discussed for running mate.

        2. Feral Finster

          Sociopaths are basically soulless.

          A Blinken, a Biden, a Nuland, a Clinton, a Kirby could personally shove the victims into the gas chambers and it would not trouble them a bit.

            1. Feral Finster

              Sociopaths will do whatever it takes to get power.

              If that means murdering old King Duncan to usurp the throne, that’s what they’ll do.

              If that means kissing babies, gripping and grinning and mouthing some crap about “feeling my pain”, then they’ll do that.

              Even when they leave office, they keep trying to run things from behind the scenes.

    3. Alice X

      Ukraine will join NATO!

      Well, that settles that, for the Russians, the only safe Ukraine will be one on a small patch of territory around Lviv.

        1. Alice X

          Well, Lvov to the Russians, Lviv to the Ukrainians.

          Whatever, it is in Banderastan

          But having put it that way, maybe that isn’t even so safe.

          1. ilpalazzo

            Most Polish people will tell you that Lwów is a Polish city. Kraków, Lwów and Wilno were supposed to be the most beautiful when the country was positioned a bit more to the east than now. Descendants of peasants from western part of the country famously don’t share these sentiments (as well as most peasants in general I suppose).

    4. Feral Finster

      TL:DR: the empire is not backing away from Ukraine, no matter how much we may wish to believe otherwise.

      1. LifelongLib

        Dunno. Lately, there are news articles referring to “Ukraine’s war with Russia” rather than “Russia’s unprovoked invasion of/war against Ukraine”. Is this my imagination or some kind of signal?

    5. lyman alpha blob

      No facts and no law on his side, apparently Blinken is now into pounding the table stage.

  11. griffen

    Putting another dent into the future rosy projections of the EV becoming a dominant choice for American drivers…that EV loses it’s value in year one by a larger percentage according to the report below…isn’t buying a brand new boat and just shortly after the new purchase a likewise “sinking value feeling ? Just trying to think of a comparable consumer experience.

  12. Wukchumni

    Joe, Joe was a man who thought he was a 2-termer
    But he knew it couldn’t last
    Joe, Joe left his home in Scranton, Pennsylvania
    For some White House grass

    Get back, get back
    Get back to where you once belonged
    Get back, get back
    Get back to where you once belonged
    Get back Joe, Joe

    Go home

    Get back, get back
    Back to where you once belonged
    Get back, get back
    Back to where you once belonged, yeah
    Oh, get back, Joe

    Sweet Kamala Harris thought she was a woman
    But she was Willie Brown’s man
    All the pols around her say she’s got it coming
    But she has to wait until she can

    Oh, get back, get back
    Get back to where you once belonged
    Get back, get back
    Get back to where you once belonged
    Get back Kamala, woo, woo

    Go roam

    Oh, get back, yeah, get back
    Get back to where you once belonged
    Yeah, get back, get back
    Get back to where you once belonged

    Ooh, ooh
    Get back to that action-figure pose
    Your wardrobe’s waitin’ for you
    Wearin’ those high-heel shoes
    And a low risk mixed green word salad
    Get back on cue, Kamala

    Get back, get back
    Get back to where you once belonged
    Oh, get back, get back
    Get back, oh yeah

    Get Back, by the Beatles

  13. J_Schneider

    Blinken’s interview with Darius Rochebin – few things stand out. 1/ War with Russia is not in US national interest 2/ In Europe the US follows only its own national interests 3/ You Europeans do what you want but it is us who decides what happens under Article 5 4/ French establishment is in full panick, the journalist was like a little squeking pig. Next to that poor little imbecile Blinken looked like a real statesman.

    1. flora

      adding: economic models are to economics what AI is to knowledge. / ;)

      Purely conjectural in service to power?

  14. Jackiebass63

    I believe the reason an EV loses so much value lies in the battery pack. The pack has a relatively short life span before it needs to be replaced. Sometimes replacing the pack cost more than the vehicle is worth. Until this problem is solve EV’s will be a hard sell.

    1. Benny Profane

      I know it’s hard for most of the privileged top 20% to imagine, but, there are millions in our country that survive car ownership by learning to maintain a Japanese or Korean car so that it lasts 200,000 miles. Furgetabout third world residents who take our discarded cars with maybe only 40,000 miles and do the same. The Cubans are famous for that. Teslas would be useless to them.

      1. griffen

        Still trucking along in the reliable trusty Accord model year 2008. Repairs did get rather extensive and expensive about 180,000 mileage but I still enjoy the vehicle and today I drive it less than say 2019 or 2021…I think quite a few are in the camp of driving it farther than I might otherwise wish but it functions quite alright. Sitting around 222,000 on the odometer…

    2. The Rev Kev

      In our area we sometimes see groups of antique cars from the 1920s and 1930s driving along the road on their way to meet-ups. Anybody think that there will be antique EVs driving along the road in a hundred years time?

      1. JP

        If there are any roads left that can be driven on. Maybe your local war lord will be maintaining the road with antique methane powered tractors so she can keep control with her lock on clean water supplies.

    3. Enter Laughing

      An independent survey of 15,000 EVs found only 1.5% needed to have a battery replaced within ten years of ownership.
      Furthermore, federal regulations require manufacturers to warranty EV batteries for 8 years/100,000 miles. California goes even further by requiring a 10-year/150,000-mile battery warranty.

      1. Benny Profane

        Well, fine, but, there are plenty of gas cars being driven that don’t need a 10,000 dollar repair suddenly at 150,000.

        1. Enter Laughing

          The transition to full battery electric vehicles (BEVs) has a lot of problems, but I don’t think battery longevity is necessarily near the top of the list — that’s all I’m saying. Personally I think PHEVs make a hell of a lot more sense for most drivers right now.

        2. Diddy wa friend

          I don’t know ya’ll. I have a old Ford Explorer — 1997. Yeah, what 25 or 26 years old? It had 280,000 on it when I got it and the odometer didn’t work. That was maybe 8 -10 years ago. I haven’t done much to it – I had it washed a few times, new made in USA Goodyear tires a few years ago. I had the oil changed a few times. Once it was running so rough I had to pull in to the shop. They changed the plugs and acted like I should do more maintenance. Ran great with new plugs. Oh yeah, I had to put some transmission thickener in it to stop that from slipping. That was about 3 or 4 years ago.

          Sometimes it seems like it makes sense the F150 was the best selling vehicle for decades. Fine since then. Drive it every day.

          It’s sorta bumpy ride, and I asked a couple of times about shocks or brakes. They keep saying they’re good. It may be on the old beam-type frame/suspension, not like a modern SUV. I paid $1200 for it about 8 or 10 years ago. Really Isn’t that all kind of green?

          1. Wukchumni

            I’m at 208k on my Taco bought new, rode hard & put away wet, and its still worth $10k, every last mile with me in the drivers seat mostly.

            Somebody wrote this last month on NC and it struck my fancy, kudos to whomever it was…

            Imagine, we live in a world where all cars were EV’s, and then along comes a new invention: the Internal Combustion Engine!

            Think how well they might sell.

            A vehicle more or less half the weight, half the price and with almost a quarter the damage done to the road., where tires last twice as long. A car that can be refueled in 1/10th of the time and has the range of up to 4 times the distance in any weather situation. It does not rely on the environmentally damaging use of non-renewable rare earth elements to power it and uses far less steel and other expensive materials.

            How excited might people be for such new technology?

        3. Kouros

          Or the Chinese model is adopted, where the batteries are very easily replaceble – that is how some models are recharged.

      2. playon

        It’s not just the batteries, it’s also all that smart crap in modern cars. My sister-in-law had a Prius with way less than 100k miles on it when the dashboard screen went out. The repair estimate was $4000 – she ended up selling it.

        1. digi_owl

          Apparently that screen is in part there because rear view cameras are now mandatory. Both because people suck at using mirrors when backing up, and also because cars have become so bulky that kids etc are hard to spot when near the vehicle.

          But then manufacturers figured they could throw in all this “cool” entertainment and navigation stuff, and move “less used” features to oh so fancy touchscreen.

          Never mind that everything these days runs through a CAN bus rather than being directly wired to the switches in the first place.

          How you end up with cars being “hot wired” using a USB stick and some files downloaded from the net. Just plug it into the media player and presto.

    4. digi_owl

      I suspect the battery pack life span situation on its own is overstated.

      The larger problem is that said packs do not follow any sort of standard, and are hard to replace as more and more brands basically make them part of the chassis now.

      Early on there was various attempts at making them more easily replaced, even potentially swapable at a garage as fast as you refuel gasoline. But this was seemingly dropped as the infra change needed was likely seen as too massive. Far easier to agree on some charging standards and plop them down everywhere.

      In the end it seems the problem is that nobody wants to approach a problem holistically these days. Instead they just want to replace gasoline with li-ion and be on their merry way trying to recapture that 60s cheap fuel spirit.

    5. heresy101

      Battery technology is still fairly new; Tesla is only about 15 years old. EVs are improving very quickly and will soon obsolete ICE vehicles. Our EV is 10 years old with 52,000 miles and has 94% of its 250 mile range, so all is not lost. There are a number of Tesla Model 3 owners that have reached 400,000 miles on their car.

      If you are thinking of buying an EV, don’t buy one with an LG Chem battery because GM had to replace all the Chevy Bolt batteries and LG Chem batteries have had dozens of fires.

      China is so far ahead of the US in manufacturing that CATL and Warren Buffet’s BYD produce 50% of the worlds batteries. CATL has just introduced batteries that will go 932,000 miles that last 15 years and others that charge to 248 miles in 10 minutes.

      Also, CATL are saying that the cost is being reduced by up to 50%. Ford is trying to build factories in Michigan using CATL technology, but they are being stymied by fear of China. Ford may have to go to Mexico to build the factories.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “US May Revoke Houthi Terrorist Label If They Stop Red Sea Ship Attacks”

    Right from day one the demand was simple. They would stop targeting Israel-linked shipping if the slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza comes to an end. Of course this was seen as a totally unreasonable demand so the western powers started bombing them day after day. In fact, ‘According to the Yemen Data Project, a total of 339 munitions were dropped on Yemen in the first 80 days of the bombing campaign.’ But Yemen is still sending drones and missiles out and have not stopped at all. It is in fact a naval defeat for the western powers. So Tim Lenderking – President Biden’s envoy for Yemen – said the US now wants a “diplomatic solution” and that the US could reverse its decision to designate Ansar Allah as “Specially Designated Global Terrorists”. It should be noted that when the US did this, it blocked a final peace deal between Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Only thing is, Ansar Allah would have to trust the word of the Biden White House to do this and not to once more designate them terrorists when it is convenient again. You think that they would trust a Biden promise?

    1. voislav

      Much bigger issue is that if US has not been able to protect shipping from a modest threat like Houthis, how would they keep the Straits of Hormuz open if Iran decides to close them. Israel is trying its best to goad Iran into a major strike and it’s foolish to assume that US shipping would be allowed to pass unmolested while Iran and Israel trade ballistic and cruise missiles.

      1. Louis Fyne

        An interesting tack for Iran to take would be to close the Strait of Hormuz to all US-bound and Israel-bound ships….which is probably zero or near zero; and allow free passage to every other nation.

        And basically dare the US to bomb Iran and risk doubling oil prices.

        If the Houthis could do it in the Red Sea, so can Iran.

        1. Feral Finster

          If gas prices really were to spike as a result, the howls for all-out war would be deafening, and the various gulfie tyrannies would be all on board.

          Cheap gas is Every America’s God-Given Right.

    2. Emma

      Ansarallah/Yemen is the one country in the world that’s actually following ICJ orders. It’s everybody else who are terrorists, terrorist enablers, or at best cowardly bystanders.

  16. Jabura Basaidai

    hey flora did you have a comment yesterday about a canal in Cambodia? i thought you did and thought i responded but both seemed to have disappeared, both your comment and my response to it – weird – just checked again and nada – drifted into the aether and off the net i guess – oh well, just wondering if i was having an acid flashback –

  17. Enter Laughing

    RE: Austin Calls for ‘Rapid Increase’ of Aid Into Gaza Through All Crossings “2,000,000 humanitarian aid meals per day” via the pier.

    Every time I see the pier mentioned as a serious response to the famine in Gaza, I feel like punching a hole in the wall.

    First let’s note that 2,000,000 meals a day would still be only one third of what Gazans need to survive.

    Second, let’s note that the 2,000,000 meals a day is a pie-in-the-sky (or ocean) maximum estimate. Count the wiggle words in this paragraph from the article (bold face mine):

    “Using JLOTS, DOD will build a floating pier and then push it onto the shore of Gaza. Once that capability is in place and is fully operational, it’s expected as many as 2 million humanitarian aid meals per day could be delivered into Gaza.”

    Let’s forget for a second that getting the food to the beach is the easy half of the problem. Actually getting the trucks through to where they need to go is another whole logistical nightmare that already exists for the few aid trucks that are currently getting through.

    So instead let’s break down this much-bandied-about figure of 2 million meals day. Food aid is typically reported on in terms of tons, not meals, so how much does 2 million meals weigh?

    As a starting point, we’ll use Humanitarian Daily Meals produced by the U.S.. Each one of these meal packets weighs 30 ounces and feeds a single person for one day. So 10 ounces a meal. By that metric, 2,000,000 meals is about the equivalent of 625 tons of food a day.

    Guess what? That’s about what 31 trucks can carry at 20 tons each. There are already about 150 trucks a day on average getting through the checkpoints according to UNRWA. So the sea-faring Uber Eats adventure would deliver 1/5 of what trucks are currently delivering, at best.

    Wouldn’t it be much easier to just expedite the process by which trucks are already entering into Gaza? If Israel is giving the go ahead for this ridiculous pier idea than why not just give the go ahead for more trucks through the existing routes?

    Obviously, something else is afoot because the pier makes so little sense it hurts to think about it.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Yeah, but export the Palestinians to where? You think that the EU would take them? Western nations like the US, Canada, Australia and the UK? The Arab nations won’t take them as they know that the Israelis will never take them back again. There is no plan past ‘Build a pier.’

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      It’s a fake election promise. It operates that numbers higher than what one is used to simply become incomprehensibly large. It’s why people panic in stats classes.

      It’s for Team Blue loyalists who think Biden is serious. See, he has numbers. Context doesn’t matter because they can’t comprehend those numbers. The Pentagon does this when pitching weapon systems. The F35 can carry x times more ordinance than a random 60 year old plane which could deliver x tons of tnt.

      Math doesn’t lie, and the goal is to distract.

      1. Enter Laughing

        Yes, it works wonderfully in terms of messaging, distraction and money laundering. Let’s do a checklist exercise.

        For the Biden Administration, the pier plan:

        ✓ Provides the appearance of an innovative, dynamic response to a crisis

        ✓ Provides ample PR opportunities for positive press about the U.S. military

        Steers millions of dollars to a private company staffed by ex-CIA and ex-military types for some hazy “planning” services.

        ✓ Provides a ready-made counterargument for both U.S. and Israel administrations when accused of not doing enough to ease the famine in Gaza.

        Yes, the pier is a beautiful construction in that sense.

        But the whole official “humanitarian” narrative about the pier is hogwash and I’ll tell you what it makes me think of.

        It brings to mind an image.

        Picture this if you will:

        A house is on fire.

        A guy, call him Netanyahu, stands by watching it burn — while standing on the fire hose.

        Only as trickle of water is coming out of the end of the hose. Not near enough to douse the flames.

        Another bystander, call him Joe, sees what’s going on and has an idea.

        “Let’s start a bucket brigade!”

        Netanyahu says “Great idea! I think there’s pond about a quarter mile away”

        Joe says “I’ll find some more people, and some buckets, and we’ll line everybody up, and try to do more about putting out this fire!”

        Netanyahu says, “Sounds like a plan — go ahead”

        Meanwhile, the second floor of the burning house collapses in an explosion of flames.

        1. jobs

          And the next day the paper runs a story how despite the community coming together the house couldn’t be saved.

    2. vao

      Obviously, something else is afoot because the pier makes so little sense it hurts to think about it.

      It can be used:

      1) by the Israeli military to bring in equipment by sea rather than trundle it through the ruins infested by Hamas/IJ/PFLP fighters;

      2) by the USA to bring in an “interposition force” to ensure that “all parties abide by a ceasefire” — without having to twist the arm of Egypt, nor rely too openly upon Israel acquiescence;

      3) by the “international community” to berth the ships that will take the Palestinians away from Gaza and deport them to, well, wherever, without going through Egypt (as in “bringing the Palestinian population suffering a life-threatening crisis to a safe place, as required by humanitarian principles”);

      4) by the Israelis to bring in equipment and material to rebuild Gaza as prime front beach property once the war is over;

      5) by the USA firms to bring out people and equipment to the platforms off the shore of Gaza, in order to exploit the gas fields that will be taken over by Israel once the war is over.

      When you think about it, that pier makes a lot of sense.

  18. ChrisFromGA

    Pointing out some rank hypocrisy and double standards in the way the media and the left attack judges, yet claim Trump is the only one doing it.

    It seems like the press along with the usual “Orangemanbad” suspects are having conniptions about a Federal Judge Aileen Cannon. The accusations against her are that she’s “inexperienced” and had the gall to entertain two separate sets of jury instructions, including one written by Trump’s defense.

    The problem with this is that it is very common for the defense and the prosecution to disagree on jury instructions. Obviously, each side will want to be aggressive in those instructions, favoring their client.

    Trump himself attacked the family of a judge in the other criminal case and is notorious for such bad behavior. But spare me the pearl clutching from the left claiming that the judicial system is under attack, when they’re doing the exact same thing by going after a Judge they don’t like.

      1. Don

        It is beyond absurd that people, even some in this commissariat still refer to liberals, the Democratic Party, the Liberal Party of Canada, Britain’s Labour Party… as the left. What definition of “the left” is being used?

  19. Thorn

    “For decades mainstream culture has ignored white music, at least those singers who don’t crossdress on command.”

    This Dark Futura stuff is crazy and transphobic. After denying human-caused climate change in previous texts, now he somehow portrays “white music” (I think he meant white artists) as not mainstream? Lol.

    1. bum

      This was a truly despicable screed. And the constant extrapolation from the same 100 year old text as if it held all the truth of the gospel and all the angels. The unsubstantiated hot takes kept coming and the background that social hierarchy is immutable and inherently just…this was like reading Goebbels I had to put it down

      1. Thorn

        Yeah, this guy has been peddling some extreme obscurantism left and right (let’s call it just that to keep this comment section search-proof). This whole thing that heterosexual whites are somehow being held back or “replaced” is one of the most virulent strains of discourse nowadays.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      I selected a few sentences and phrases from this essay:
      “But conspiracy is the wrong word.”
      “All this doesn’t add up to a psyop,,,”
      “It’s not a conspiracy, it’s publicity. Not CIA, CAA.”
      The number of repetitions of the claim that conspiracy is the wrong word in this essay sure looks like ‘propaganda’ to me. I believe ‘publicity’ is a tool of conspiracy.

      “In a way, even “greed is good” libertarianism was a leftward shift, at least insofar as leftism equals chaos. But now, it would appear that there is simply no further leftward we can go.”
      This sentence is pregnant with implications. Libertarianism was a leftward shift? Through the looking glass perhaps.

      “Like the Five Points, Turbo America is run like a cartel. A unified conglomeration of private interests secretly plotting and planning to get you to act in certain ways. And those ways are always, at the end of the day, about money.”
      In this Empire Wealth begets Power and Power begets Wealth. This essay gives regard to only one aspect of ‘publicity’. The characterization of Turbo America operating like a cartel is apt. Cartels operate through collusion — but what is the difference in meaning between collusion and conspiracy? I believe the difference lies in the fuzzy connotations around the two words. To me, a conspiracy connotes a tighter binding between conspirators than the binding between those colluding. That connotation grows ever more ghostly as the Empire consolidates into clusters of four and five players acting in its Money-Power centers.

    3. IEL

      NC has been a valuable resource, but when it starts to link to this sort of bigoted screed (there is plenty of racist, homophobic, and antisemitic garbage in there) it makes me much less likely to visit the site.

      1. Yves Smith

        We point out that linking to something is not an endorsement.

        Lambert put this in the category of “Zeitgeist Watch”. Just because you don’t (with justification) like what is out there on some corners of the Innertubes does not mean this is not happening.

        And I believe this is the other persona of Simplicius the Thinker.

  20. ChrisFromGA

    You’ll slow us down to a crawl

    We don’t need no regulation
    We don’t need no market control
    No job-killing mandates; hamstrung tycoons
    Lina leave those Wall St. kids alone!

    Hey! Lina! Leave those Wall St. kids alone

    All in all, your regs will slow us down to a crawl
    All in all, your regs will slow us down to a crawl!

    Sung to the tune of, Another Brick in the Wall, part 2. By Pink Floyd.

    See also:

    1. Lena

      The Weather Channel has just reported a 4.8 magnitude earthquake in the Northeast. Felt in NYC, Philadelphia, Boston.

      Stay safe!

      1. vao

        Do you realize how close to the truth you are?

        The USSR did develop tectonic weapons to cause earthquakes at a distance.

        Unfortunately, since we cannot conclusively invalidate the hypothesis that Putin secretely resuscitated the old Soviet tectonic programme, we must therefore assume he did so, that the Russians are now in possession of a dastardly weapon of mass destruction through earthquakes, and that the NYC event is possibly a first test of it against the USA.

        Add /sarc for completion.

    2. gk

      4.8. I had one (Oct 20 1985;4.0). I had just moved there from California so I wasn’t impressed. In fact, I was just driving into the City and just thought it was an exceptionally bad stretch of the Cross Bronx “Expressway”. new Yorkers seemed more impressed.

      1. Wukchumni

        Color me jaded from far too many 4.8’s not forsaken, honorable mention goes to the one that hit when I was across the street from Grauman’s Chinese theater on Hollywood Blvd, on the 5th floor of the Max Factor building working for a numismatic firm there, it was a group sway of sorts, circa 1981.

        Still, if i’d never been in a quake of that magnitude before, it would scare the bejesus out of me.

  21. The Rev Kev

    “Police investigate cyber honeytrap scandal after senior Tory admits giving MPs’ numbers to sex sting plotter he met on Grindr dating app after sending intimate pics of himself”

    There is almost an element of nostalgia about this story. Just before the Tories were swept from power by Tony Blair in the 90s, it was just one sex scandal after another by the Tories in the papers and it seemed like they could not keep their zippers closed.

    1. mrsyk

      Oh gawd. Is there a “wide stance” involved? In business news today popcorn futures are up….

    2. Jeff V

      In keeping with the nostalgia theme, the MP concerned has actually apologised.

      A proper, old-fashioned “I messed up, people got hurt, I’m really sorry.” I can’t remember the last time I saw one of those from an elected politician.

    3. vao

      Farther back in time, there was the Profumo affair that led to the fall of the then Conservative government.

  22. Carolinian

    That’s an interesting story about apple trees and reviving them. My mother grew up on what eventually became a peach farm and, unbeknownst to me, planted a couple of trees on the property. These became “knownst” when I later discovered a peach lying on the ground (no gardener I). And sadly both trees are now shaded out by large oaks.

    “Johnny Appleseed” was once the stuff of childhood. Paul Bunyan next? Or do modern kids hear about the legend of Steve Jobs and his iPhone?

    1. anahuna

      Nothing against apple trees, and a lot for, but as I understand it, Johnny Appleseed was actually distributing literature on Swedenborg.

      1. Feral Finster

        He did both,

        IIRC. Apparently the natives, even those tribe who were most implacably opposed to white expansion, many of whom didn’t typically read Swedenborg, saw Appleseed as touched with the dive and left him alone.

      2. Jeremy Grimm

        Michael Pollan gives a chapter to apples and Johnny Appleseed in his book “The Botany of Desire”. Pollan’s description of Johnny Appleseed ties a fair part of his motivations to economic gain through land speculation and the demand for booze in remote locations.

        1. LifelongLib

          I read that he mainly sold apple trees to settlers, who had to plant something on land they were claiming to prove they weren’t speculators. Apple trees were popular because (as you say) the apple juice could be made into hard cider. IIRC the apples weren’t eaten because the trees don’t breed true, and you never knew what you would get unless you grafted on a known variety.

  23. The Rev Kev

    “NATO Weighs Taking Over Ukraine Defense Contact Group’

    Translation: This is the US telling Europe that they are leaving so they are dropping the whole Ukraine bundle in their hands. Unlike in the last days of Afghanistan, they are telling their allies in advance that they are bailing. And it is going to cost. Poland is already demanding that NATO contributions be raised from 2% to 3% and there is talk of 100 billion Euro fund for the Ukraine to be sent over the next five years.

  24. jm

    As a fan of British humor I followed the link referenced in the since deleted tweet posted above.

    Huge Brexit Britain victory as UK is world’s second most powerful country

    “According to Brand Finance’s 2024 Global Soft Power Index, the UK has retained second place behind the US and has increased its score since 2023.”

    Curious as to how this ranking was determined, I went to Brand Finance’s website. Their motto—Bridging the Gap Between Marketing and Finance—in this context is itself pretty funny.

    1. paul

      You have no idea how much of a comfort this outcome is to the british people.
      And neither do they.

      I wonder if michael gove will cough up a few bob for ‘2nd most powerful country day’ street parties before the election.

  25. antidlc
    FAA probes possible close call involving Southwest flight at LaGuardia
    Experts say a surge in close calls over the last year and a half highlights the stress on the aviation industry; the FAA held a safety summit after a number of near-misses last year

    The Federal Aviation Administration says it is investigating whether a Southwest Airlines flight may have flown too close to an air traffic control tower at LaGuardia when it veered off course during turbulent weather last month.

    The agency says the plane, Southwest Airlines Flight 147, went off course at the Queens hub around 1 p.m. Saturday, March 23, as strong storms rolled through the area. An air traffic controller told the crew to perform a go-around at LaGuardia Airport, which is when an approaching flight aborts its landing procedure and gets back in the queue.

    The flight ended up diverting to Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. It landed safely.

  26. B Flat

    A 4.8 quake here in NYC, didn’t feel it where I am though friends in midtown Manhattan and Queens did.
    What’s next, boils?

      1. Lena

        Also the darkness (of the eclipse) will last three days. The only source of light will be from wax candles. Prepare.

    1. Pat

      Felt it in Chelsea. Like a rolling action or a car slowly going over evenly spaced bumps. Didn’t actually think earthquake as the building has shook a couple of times in the last few years because of the work in the subway that’s adjacent, so I thought they had some machine going back and forth. (Early on disruption to buildings was so bad that on the other side of the street it damaged two buildings that were closed for over a year for safety reasons.) And because the only other earthquake I’ve been in was a shaking not a rolling.

      I do hope that injuries were at a minimum.

  27. Feral Finster

    “Is Zelensky’s Legitimacy Really At Risk? Carnegie Endowment for International Peace”

    O Please. Zelenskii could dissolve Parliament declare himself Tsar And Autocrat and this would hailed as The Moastest Democractic Thing Evah as long as the Americans were good with it.

    But not a minute longer.

    1. Polar Socialist

      It may become too difficult at some point; I’ve seen rumors that Yermak will become a prime minister, since the Ukrainian constitution holds Verkhovna Rada as legitimate until next elections, no matter what. This would keep the power in his hands.

      According to the constitution the current speaker should take over the presidential office when Zelensky’s term ends in May, but apparently Ukraine has semi-presidential system, so a strong prime minister, like Tymoshenko, can actually run the place.

      The problem with this plan is that Zelensky’s “regime” is not that popular even among his own party, so internal strife can be expected. And even Zelensky may not be behind it, since it has no role for him.

      So, now rumors are surfacing that Zelensky and Budanov are planning a fake coup which would allow Zelensky to “deal with the opposition” (like Poroshenko) and stay in power.

      A lot of this is likely useless rumors (as stated) or maybe even psychological warfare, and I apologize for bringing them here as such. But the sources seem to be inside Ukraine, which means that people there are talking about these things, be they true or not. Whatever the case, I assume the situation in the top layers of the Ukrainian political system will be quite volatile in the next few months. There are already a lot of resuffling and resignations going on.

      1. Feral Finster

        AFAICT, the shufflings and resignations are of those deemed insufficiently loyal to Zelenskii and war until the end.

      2. Belle

        Ah, Tymoschenko, the one who was released from jail under US pressure. The one who was called a political prisoner by the State Department…and an unindicted co-conspirator in a fraud case by the Justice Department.

  28. Roger Blakely

    RE: Existential Researchers Teach Rat To Run Forever Through Exitless Maze The Onion

    “Our team has successfully ascertained that rats are no different from humans in their capacity to scamper perpetually through a maze without purpose or end,” said Jean-Pierre Descoteaux, one of the pale, expressionless researchers who smoked pipes as they explained their certainty that the rats were slowly learning how to confront the perplexing and vertiginous task of existing with no ultimate goal. “There is no cheese at the end because there is no end. And like us—for what are we but trapped rats—these rodents live in their mire of bad faith, always holding onto the lie that just around the next corner, and the next, and the next, there is some morsel, some petit fromage d’illusion that will rescue them from the nausea of utter freedom. There is no rescue, little rat. Embrace your prison, and you will be free.”

  29. earthling

    “Cherish that hamburger. It cost a quarter of the Colorado River,”

    Great study that puts a firmer lock on what many here already know, we can’t keep bleeding this river dry for alfalfa and beef, at least not at the extent we do now. Hope the regulators can use it to clarify thinking about future permits.

    Nobody wants to shut down salad vegetable production in the lowest reaches of the colorado, because that’s a unique place best suited to that.

    Cattle feeding/finishing crops, however, may need to move east to places where there is more water falling from the sky. Or if it must stay west, perhaps it should migrate to the Central Valley close to western population centers.

    Is there already a similar study of the Central Valley waterhog crops? Do we need a good one to de-justify all those almonds?

  30. Feral Finster

    “Antimarket” William Davies

    The whole point behind “green capitalism” is so that we can tell ourselves that we can have our cake and eat it too. We can save the planet, and still make a buck off of doing so, that our comfy PMC lifestyles will not be affected unduly.

    Humans are great at finding rationalizations for taking the easy way out.

  31. Raymond Sim

    I might be going off half-cocked here, because I found the Slate article on concussions too exasperating to finish, but I find the idea that the “cocooning” described represents rest for the brain to be risible. Isn’t it something that would obviously be stressful for an extrovert? In other words for most people?

    I had an ICH in 2015, and if I’ve learned anything from that experience it’s that emotional work is physical work for your brain, and emotional stress is the archenemy of recuperation. I would submit that if cocooning is bad it’s as likely to be because it’s overworking patients’ brains, rather than idling them.

  32. Feral Finster

    “The coming civil war on Europe’s Right UnHerd”

    “The EU will never allow populists to win”.

    Well, duh. Or they will quickly be co-opted, bought off or neutered. I see that Marine LePen is walking back her anti-NATO and anti-EU stances. No doubt she wants to be allowed a share of power.

    1. John k

      French pres is pretty powerful in France. She would certainly be more independent than macron, maybe much more. Still pretty distant.

  33. Mendozas Mom

    Middle Class Americans Are Acting More Like Lower Income Earners

    That explains why restaurants and retail stores in L.A. are reporting sales down by a third to half from one year ago.

    I ask every time buying something. Write it down and my daughter does the math.
    In California we are in a recession, or worse. Many businesses are closing.

    If I had a dollar for every For Rent or For Lease sign seen from the Beverly Boulevard bus, I could buy a really nice outfit.

  34. XXYY

    Blinken says Ukraine will eventually ‘become a member of NATO’

    A strange thing to say on many levels.

    Blinken seems to be partying like it’s 1999 when he holds up NATO membership as some kind of good or useful thing to have. If the Ukraine war has taught us anything, it’s that NATO is a feckless organization which has neither political nor military power. The US keeps hanging various European States out to dry on policy issues, while NATO members come forward one after another to tell us they only have enough armaments to fight a war for 3 days and will need years or decades to build more. NATO Article 5, the famed collective self-defense provision, has meanwhile been laid bare as a toothless commitment backed up by purely voluntary action on the part of countries who can’t seem to agree about anything.

    The only effect Blinken’s pronouncement is going to achieve on a practical level is to further irritate the Russians, whose opposition to Ukraine joining NATO is well known and indeed was the cause of the current war, and further convince them that peace talks with the US will be a pointless exercise.

    1. Ben Panga

      Maybe that’s his intention?

      Did the US ever want “victory” or did it just want to start a permanent conflict to mess with Russia? Maybe a bit of both depending which part of the blob.

      I am intrigued to see how long it takes Western Europeans to realise they too are just pieces to be sacrificed in the great game of Risk. I suspect the West European sense of innate superiority and entitlement will have to fade first.

  35. Lefty Godot

    A moderately liberal writer on Politico tries to rebut a wild-eyed screed about white rural rage, but his arguments are weakened by exaggerating the accomplishments of Democrats on behalf of the deplorables. The big plus that rural people don’t appreciate is…Obamacare? Oh, and allocating money to broadband providers for promises of extending broadband to underserved rural areas…promises that are often not met. The author may sense that the book in question is basically a bad faith cultural pseudo-leftist diatribe intended to further divide the working class rather than contribute to any understanding (similar to something like The Trouble With White Women), but doesn’t come right out and say that.

    I will say, one of the biggest issues that the pseudo-left creates for Democrats with respect to rural people is “gun control”. People in the country own guns and always have. Many (although the number is shrinking) are hunters, and others just want some protection when the police and animal control officers are far away. The genie is already out of the bottle on this score. And like every other freedom, it’s perceived as more important when people try to take it away versus when you never had it to begin with. In the rural area of my blue state, the local Democratic state legislators always had excellent ratings from the NRA. There was a reason for that beside principle…it helped get them elected.

  36. Wukchumni

    McDonald’s to buy back Israeli restaurants after boycotts BBC
    ‘I’d like to order the McMaccabees combo out, super sized!’

  37. Kouros

    With “Right” also standing for Populism…
    More like a war against the “Silent Majority”…

    Majority of the population in any country is socially conservative, economically socialist, and politically “liberal”.

  38. thousand points of green

    If one of Gabe Brown’s customers buy some hamburger made from Gabe Brown’s beef raised strictly on Gabe Brown’s own ranch in North Dakota, that hamburger will have been fed strictly only on forage raised strictly and only on Gabe Brown’s ranch, and therefore used precisely zero drops of Colorado River water.

    I sometimes buy meat from Vestergard Farms just outside Ann Arbor. Since that meat is raised with zero forage bought in from beyond the property lines of Vestergard Farms, that meat has used precisely zero drops of Colorado River water.

  39. ChrisPacific

    Biden told Bibi to ‘work toward’ a ceasefire.

    I imagine his impulse was to say ‘fight for’, but he realized that’s probably not a good word choice.

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